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Brussels, 17 January 2002

Urban II programme: European Union contributes Euro 10.7 million to urban regeneration in the historical centre of Genoa, Italy

Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the European Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the historical centre of Genoa (Italy). This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide € 10.7 million(2) from the European Union over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted € 16 million in further investment from the public sector and € 2.8 million from the private sector, creating total resources of € 29.5 million. Priorities will include training, improvements of the physical environment, improvements to the business environment and various measures to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups, particularly into the labour market.

Announcing the decision, Michel BARNIER said: "URBAN programmes are characterised by their creative and innovative approach to urban regeneration. These programmes have a strong "grassroots" emphasis, involving local people at all stages in the decision making process. The programme for Genoa is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme priorities of social inclusion, training and renewing the business infrastructure and the physical environment. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in Genoa."

Following a first URBAN programme in Genoa, the new programme covers the historical centre of Genoa with 23,000 inhabitants and a surface area of 198 ha, bound by the seaside and the former harbour. The area is facing severe social and economic problems: high level of immigrants, unemployment, crime, decaying buildings and public spaces, decaying infrastructure systems (in particular refuse collection, sewerage, drainage) and environmental damage. On the other hand, the area is located close to the main urban services and it contains significant historical buildings from the Middle Ages to the renaissance period. The tourism sector has a significant growth potential.

The programme aims to tackle this situation by three main priorities:

  • Urban rehabilitation and enhancement. Key actions aim at improving the physical urban environment and include the rehabilitation of buildings and open spaces (Community contribution: € 4.8 million).

  • Socio-economic regeneration. Key actions include training, various measures to promote entrepreneurship and the development of the "new economy" (Community contribution: € 4.3 million).

  • Environment. Key actions include the improvement of community transport access, sorting waste management and refuse collection (Community contribution: € 0.9 million).

An additional amount of € 0.7 million (Community contribution) will finance technical assistance.

As with all URBAN programmes, this programme will be funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the responsibility of Mr Barnier.


The goal of the URBAN Community Initiative is "economic and social regeneration of cities and of neighbourhoods in crisis in order to promote sustainable urban development". The second round of URBAN ("URBAN II") will cover the period 2000-2006, supporting 70 deprived urban areas across the EU. Total funding from the EU alone will be € 728.3 million and this will attract at least as much again in matched funding from both public and private sectors.

The total URBAN allocation for Italy amounts to € 114.8 million. Programmes have been submitted for Torino, Milan, Genoa, Carrara, Pescara, Caserta, Taranto, Mola di Bari, Crotone and Misterbianco.

A particular feature of URBAN II is the development of innovative models for urban regeneration. Another feature is a strong emphasis on partnership and on involving local actors. There will also be an exchange of information and experience on sustainable urban development across the European Union.

URBAN II is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Funding is available for initiatives such as the renovation of buildings and public spaces, local employment initiatives, the improvement of education and training systems for disadvantaged groups, the development of environmentally friendly public transport systems, the introduction of more efficient energy management systems and the use of renewable energy, developing the potential created by information society technologies.

The Commission adopts programmes which are proposed by a partnership including local and community groups. These programmes run for the whole of the period 2000-2006 and local actors are involved at all stages in this process.

Managing Authority

The Managing Authority for the Genoa URBAN II programme is:

The Town Council of Genoa

Comune di Genoa

Uff. Politiche Europee e Internazionali del gabinetto del Sindaco

Palazzo Tursi

Via Garibaldi, 9

I - 16123 Genova


Further information

More detailed information on the URBAN II programme be found in MEMO/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or at the following websites :

European Commission :

Government Office:

The city of Genova :

(1) See below for a description of URBAN II.


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